The Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources has expressed grave concern over the continued encroachment in Forestry Reserves.
Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources Deputy Minister, in charge of Environment, Vera Tembo says if the practice is not checked, water catchment areas would be devastated.
Ms. Tembo was speaking yesterday after a tour of Forest Reserve N0.69 in Kafue where it was discovered that there is unauthorized construction of residential houses in the Forest Reserve and charcoal burning is going on unabated.
The Deputy Minister and Forestry officials confiscated charcoal from those producing it without licenses.
Ms. Tembo warned against illegal charcoal production and called upon local authorities to work with the Forestry department in ensuring that no one settled in the forest reserve.
She said the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources will soon be devising measures to make communities play a role in policing forest reserves in the country in order to control illegal charcoal burning and encroachment.